The amount of water on Earth is pretty well fixed. The fear with global warming is not so much that there’s going to suddenly be too much or too little of it, but rather that it won’t be the right kind of water (i.e. the drinkable kind), and that it will be in all the wrong places at the wrong times. The first concern comes mainly from the fact that the polar ice caps are melting into the oceans, a problem that affects not only those who rely fresh water from the ice caps themselves, but many others around the world. As the ice caps melt, the level of the world’s oceans rises. As salt water from the oceans rises, it will start to encroach on our fresh water supplies, meaning there will be less water to drink not only for us humans, but for the many animal and plants that survive on fresh water. As for the second concern, scientist say one major cause is the fact that warmer overall temperatures lead to more rainfall and less snow. Thus, water that is typically stored as snow during the winter and spring and gradually seeping into underground water sources is now flowing freely into lowlands, especially in the spring and summer, which causes the massive flooding in these months, but reduces water supply during the rest of the year. A loss of vegetation due to the increased wildfires has also contributed to this problem, as water is no longer hindered by absorption into thirsty plants, but simply flows down into the lowlands, causing flooding.
Adding to this, global warming also increases extreme types of weather. For instance, there will be hotter heat waves and longer droughts. With the melting ice in the arctics, sea levels will also rise, giving us too much of he wrong kind of water. Many countries are experiencing this right now, and they are resulting to desalination machines to meet their fresh water demand.
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